Henry Orenstein Invents Modern Poker in "Stories from the Felt"

Henry Orenstein Invents Modern Poker in "Stories from the Felt"

Poker was never the same after Henry Orenstein developed hole card cameras and made the game what is today.

Posted December 05, 2017 by Matt Clark

In this day and age of live streamed poker we can take for granted the ability to always be able to see a player’s hole cards at a moment’s notice. That acceptance of reality is not lost on Henry Orenstein, the man who brought the hole card camera to the poker world.


New to PokerGO is the second edition of Stories from the Felt appropriately titled, “The Big Reveal.” When Orenstein emigrated from Poland after World War II, poker was from his radar. Orenstein utilized his creative mind and engineering know-how to create many patents on children’s toys including the Transformers.


He eventually moved to poker and hole card cameras and the rest, as they say, is history. “The Big Reveal” is the story behind how curiosity on the part of Orenstein and the timing of the poker boom forever changed the poker world as we know it.


Through interviews conducted with Orenstein and Poker Productions czar Mori Eskandani, we learn about what drove Orenstein in his mission to make poker as viewer friendly as possible.


Effectively all of the major entities in poker benefitted from Orenstein’s initiative. The World Poker Tour took centerstage on the televised landscape in 2002 with the first ever Five Diamond Poker Classic. 15 years later, the final table for that same event will now be live streamed for the first time in history with PokerGO serving as the host.


The way televised poker interacts with its audience has changed over the years due to technological advances and media preference, but the hole cards being visible remains the fulcrum on which everything balances.


Some of the best moments in poker history have come from a player running a bluff and the audience holding their breath knowing that the bluff is happening in front of their very eyes. Henry Orenstein is the man to thank for that.


Orenstein’s 2008 induction into the Poker Hall of Fame put a coda on his career of helping the game he loved grow. As he nears the age of 100, the inventor of poker’s modern age is witnessing history develop in front of him.


Watch “The Big Reveal” and all Stories from the Felt exclusively on PokerGO with more to come throughout the week from PokerCentral.com.